According to a report from Ofcom in 2020, UK adults spent nearly a third of their waking hours watching TV and viewing online video content.

Daily average screen time was up almost an hour per day from 2019 bringing the total average up to 5hrs and 40 mins, this is said to be due to the pandemic lockdown.

During this time Netflix subscriptions have skyrocketed with more people choosing the popular streaming service over cable and satellite.

The Media Relations Report found that the main driver for the increase in screen time was due to people staying at home because of the COVID-19 restrictions.

News viewing figures were the highest they have been in 5 years as the nation tuned in to Bo-Jo briefings.

Video-on-demand saw the highest growth. Platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video doubled in 2020 (estimated one hour and five minutes per person per day.)

By the third quarter of 2020, such services were used by 60% of all UK households, an increase of nearly 50% from last year.

YouTube has proven a success in retaining the most popular user-generated online video service. However, they face fierce competition with TikTok increasing their popularity by 31% of adult internet users.

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s group director of research, said:

“TV and online video have proved an important antidote to lockdown life, with people spending a third of their waking hours last year glued to screens for news and entertainment.

“The pandemic undoubtedly turbo-charged viewing to streaming services, with three in five UK homes now signed up.”

Now that the lockdown restrictions have eased, and people are gradually reverting to their life pre-lockdown, will this have an impact on the time we choose to spend online? Time will tell.

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